tv BBC World News America PBS February 6, 2015 3:59pm-4:31pm PST
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. tonight, there are claims from islamic state that an american female hostage they were holding has been killed by a jordanian airstrike in syria. the extremist group says she was killed in an i.s. stronghold. the bbc cannot independent e-verify anything about the claims, but the white house says it is deeply concerned about the reports. our local editor starts our coverage. >> from leaving college to when she was picked up by islamic state in your area, she has devoted her time to helping others around the world. she lived and worked with humanitarian groups in northern india, israel, and palestine and then she went to syria. she was leaving a hospital in aleppo when she was taken
captive by islamic state. today, they claim she was the sole victim of a jordanian airstrike, which hit his house though no evidence has been offered to back the claim. it brought this response from barack obama's national security advisor. >> we are up the asleep very concerned about the reports that have come in and recent hours. we do not at the present have any evidence to corroborate the claim but, obviously, we will keep reviewing the information at hand. >> the white house is investigating these claims but there's good reason to give them a health warning. just as jordan intensified actions following the brutal death of its pilot, how convenient for i.s. to be able to claim "look what you've done killed a female u.s. citizen," and heard the only victim. what happened to her bodyguard? it may be that this is more propaganda than fact. >> the focus every recent days has been on these jordanian jets
taking the fight to islamic state, but there's also pressure on the u.s. to make it commitment to tackling the extremists, in particular putting more assets on the ground to rescue those who have been captured by them. >> our teams across the u.s. government are putting every effort into finding any americans being held overseas, every intelligence tool, diplomatic tool. the secretary has reached out to over four dozen countries about americans being held overseas to try to bring these people home. >> this dramatic week has seen the king and queen of jordan become personally involved in the fight against i.s. an ordinary american mother awaits news of a daughter who went out into the world only wanting to do good. >> for more, i spoke a brief time ago with a former counterterrorism analyst with the cia. with your background, what do
you make of isis' claims to have killed the female u.s. hostage? >> it's very interesting because this is an organization that is more than happy to show terrible, gruesome images, and for them to say that this one hostage has actually died and not to show the body is very suspicious indeed. if i had to guess they probably killed her sometime ago and are just using this as an excuse. >> the jordanian government is saying that this is just a pr stunt. >> it does not surprise me at all. they use hostages for propaganda very specifically. if you saw any of the gruesome videos that have come out in the last several months, it always was for propaganda and public relations, if you want to call it that, so this is probably just another iteration of that. >> does isis have any credibility after apparently trying to negotiate with the jordanian government over the fate of the jordanian pilot when apparently he was already dead?
>> it's interesting -- why would an organization try to negotiate when they already know that their main card was already used up, if you will? the reason is become -- is because they wanted to spread out this media firestorm they had already set off, with the jordanian hostage and with the japanese hostages. this is unfortunately the last iteration of this. >> when you say the demonstration is in jordan today, is it possible that isis has overreached itself, managed to rally the jordanian people against it because of the horror of the way that pilot was killed? >> absolutely. burning the man to death has galvanized jordanian society in a way we have not seen in a decade. a decade ago, al qaeda in iraq was with isis' predecessor in a monde, jordan, killing 67 people. the blowback was so great in jordan that they never tried to pull this kind of stunt again
for over a decade. the fact is that jordanian society is very much united against isis and hopefully will be for some time to come. >> isis is thought to just have a handful of hostages left. what is their strategy going forward? >> it depends on what the nationalities of the hostages really are. they had two japanese hostages from a while back, and they did not do anything with them until we knew that the prime minister of japan was in the middle east giving $200 million for the anti-ice's campaign, and that is why they trotted them out and murdered them. if they are going to use any of the remaining hostages in a propaganda mechanism, they will wait with the next media effort and the right time to use them. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> the leaders of france and germany met with president putin in moscow tonight in the latest diplomatic effort to end the fighting in eastern ukraine. new proposals were drawn up in kiev yesterday.
a kremlin spokesman described today's talks as constructive. the three leaders along with ukrainian president are now expected to talk by phone on sunday. our diplomatic correspondent bridget kendall reports from moscow. >> on eastern ukraine's frontline, trapped for weeks and a war zone. now with a few precious possessions, a brief chance to get out. today's short humanitarian truce showed that warring sides can agree on something -- a pause in the fighting to load the buses and let the convoy drive away. meanwhile in moscow, a high-powered did to get a more lasting settlement. it's angela merkel's first visit since the ukraine crisis began. she and the french president want to stop the bloodshed in europe's backyard.
inside the kremlin, stiff formality when they met president putin. details of the offer are sketchy, except it will start with a cease-fire and then the trick year political deal. this is by no means the first attempt to try to end the bloodshed in ukraine, but the timing is interesting. there's a lot that's a get the moment, not just the escalation of fighting on the ground but the economic pressure that russia finds itself under, from sanctions and low oil prices. now, this talk in the united states that if russia is arming the rebels, maybe they should arm ukraine. the u.s. vice president today did not directly address if they should give ukraine weapons but said something must be done. >> ukraine is fighting for their very survival right now. russia cannot be allowed to redraw the map of europe. >> this is what so alarms the
u.s. and its partners -- constant military activity right up to ukraine's border. his helicopter exercise yesterday included hitting precision targets in a southern russian district bordering ukraine. it's also why french and german leaders are so desperate to seal a peace deal, to avoid ukraine's war turning into a clash between russia and nato. >> i think this is the greatest threat to european security probably since the soviet invasion of czechoslovakia. i do think president hollande is far short of the mark when he says there is a risk of total war. this could escalate. >> syria and moscow, though, plenty of people see this conflict the other way around. volunteers collecting aid here for separatists in eastern ukraine believe it is not russia who is the aggressor but the united dates.
>> this war is not between ukraine and the rebels or even between ukraine and russia as a whole. it is a war between russia and the west, and eastern ukraine is just the current front line. >> that's exactly what president pugin -- putin now claims, that ukraine's crisis is part of a bigger western campaign to undermine and weaken russia. if he really believes that, then peace may be hard to find. >> on the ground in ukraine, the conflict has claimed the lives of nearly 5500 people since april. it's estimated that around 1.5 million have fled their homes to escape the fighting. the rebels now control much of the luhansk region and donetsk. our correspondent sent this report. >> the rebels of donetsk have created their own police force. this afternoon, they invited us
on patrol. these officers used to work for the ukrainian police. they have now swapped sides and uniforms. rebels here have been building up the traveled -- trappings of a state. they've got their own flag, their own border crossings, and the police here are at work, and they will not want to give any of this up in the future. >> to yet was founded by a welsh engineer -- donetsk was founded by a welsh engineer in the 19th century. it now exists in this half world rebels have named the donetsk people's republic. there may be a war going on, but residents find ways of getting by. they still open to traffic lights, go shopping, and this once civil servant in ukraine
still travels on the number six bus. >> ukraine is doing everything in order to push us away. why should i feel part of a country that does not want meet? >> many in a nearby rebel held city feel the same way -- feel the same way. they've been hit by recent fighting. >> this is only today. listen. you can hear it even now. they said there would be a cease-fire, but they are still shooting. there is no cease-fire. nothing. >> for some, there is just a long wait. truck drivers queue for more than a mile to cross from government to rebel-help territory. the rebels, defined border crossing is proof that they are heading toward their final goal -- independence from kiev.
>> for more on the high-stakes negotiations under way, i spoke a brief time ago with andrew wyatt, now at the carnegie endowment for international peace. we are hearing tonight from a german government spokesman that there was apparently a constructive and substantial exchange of views with the french and german leaders tonight in moscow. what do you make of that? >> it is still very fluid. the chancellor and president were in moscow yesterday and had five hours with president poroshenko. they have five hours with president pugin today. they talked about doing a follow-up call on the phone and talked about releasing some sort of statement. it's just unclear if it is a credible move forward or a reiteration of things people have signed up to in the past. >> indeed, not looked at very much. the kremlin says work is under way on a possible joint document. what do you make of that?
>> we've seen these joint documents in the past. the most to put in one created a cease-fire and a whole set of new arrangements between kia -- kiev and these breakaway parts of the country. unfortunately, neither side has been able to deliver on what was in this document. separatist a sickly ignored it. the kinds of diplomatic maneuvers since september have largely been about going all back to minsk but it's not clear we can. >> how about the u.s. considering if they should provide weapons to the ukrainians? >> i think it is the driving factor behind the diplomatic activity. if you listen to what john kerry said yesterday, he said that a lot of the diplomatic effort was basically cooked up without direct involvement of the united states, that he was basically informed after putin sent a letter to hollande and merkel. at this point, the u.s. is really on the scene as potential
heavy disruptive force threatening to arm ukrainians. >> who is really controlling the rebels at this point? is it russia? >> we have an image that putin has this long screwdriver, and he can calibrate and change policy at whim. he has basically created a massive mess, opened up pandora's box, and all manner of crazies, people with their own agenda some of whom are ultra-national, some of whom are some criminal gangs, are now owing to -- to them, they are going to take advantage of the situation. >> are they going to listen to any peace plan which might come out of this? >> we don't know. it has been the case in the past with a have basically -- where they have basically blown off requests, and a think that represents that they themselves are a force in eastern ukraine. >> how about falling oil prices and sanctions? >> there is no doubt russia is in bad shape, no doubt this is squeezing them very hard. the problem is ukraine is so much more fragile, and ukraine
itself this reformist more exciting western-oriented government may not last depending on how much pressure russia applies. >> do you see this ending soon? >> am very afraid we are not headed to the in game here. >> thank you very much for joining us. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come -- good news for the u.s. jobs market. the secretary of labor is here to help rick down the numbers. investigators try to establish why a transasia airline plane crashed on wednesday with both engines lost power. we have a report from the scene on the details coming up. >> information from the voice and flight data recorders reviewed seconds after takeoff and alarm went off indicating a problem with one of the plane engines. it had lost power. surely afterwards, one of the pilots shut down the plane's
other engines. not yet clear why. >> the pilot realized the problem after the number two engine of the plane experienced a problem. the pilot did not deal with the engine. then, as you can see, the pilot produced six elevation on the first engine and then shut it down in the end -- the pilot reduced elevation on the first engine and then shut it down in the and. >> the official told us this was not in accordance with normal procedure. she said the plane is able to land with a single working engine. the pilot did try to restart the engine, but it was too late. seconds later, the plane crashed into this river. all three pilots on board were killed. the 42-year-old chief pilot is believed to have purposely steered the plane away from a densely populated neighborhood and may have tried to land in a river. local media said his body was found with his hands still clutching the joystick in the caulk it.
divers on friday continue to search for the missing, forming a line across the river because they cannot see into the murky waters. family members of the deceased arrive at the scene distraught. accident investigators and company representatives from canada and france will help investigators determined if it was a mechanical failure or human error which caused this deadly crash. >> now for some good news today for the u.s. economy as job growth for january beat expectations. 257,000 jobs were added, and while the unemployment rate went up to 5.7%, many analysts say it's because more people are now looking for work. joining me to discuss the numbers is u.s. labor secretary thomas perez.
thank you very much. this looks like an a plus jobs report. as the u.s. economy finally out of the woods? >> it is moving in the right direction. when you look at the last x months, roughly 288,000 jobs per month, that's the best six months we've had since the late 1990's. you look at the last year roughly 3 million jobs, again, best if the late 1990's, and it is brought-based growth. it's the sectors that pay well. business and professional services construction. auto sales last month with the highest they have been since 2006. it is moving in the right direction. the key is to make sure that it results in shared prosperity for everyone. >> indeed, but unemployment is up. is that because more people are looking for jobs? >> sometimes the unemployment rate goes down for bad reasons -- because people leave the workforce. they stop searching. sometimes the unemployment rate goes up for good reasons, and this is what happened last month. it's another bellwether of confidence.
businesses are bullish about hiring. job seekers bullish about getting jobs. that's why we saw a slight uptick. >> does that mean wages will finally go up? they have been stagnant or so long for so many american workers. >> last month, we had the best month of wage hikes since 2006, 2007, but one month does not make a trend. one of the remaining challenges is to make sure that this prosperity we see results and sustained real wage growth and prosperity for everyone. that is what middle class economics is about four president obama. >> austerity for everyone sounds good, but in these lean years, we've seen the middle class hollow out and the rich get even richer. is that going to be a drag on the u.s. economy going forward? >> i think making sure the prosperity we are seeing now the tailwind benefits everyone. that is one of the principal pieces of unfinished business. that is why the president talked about childcare in his state of the union. that is why he talked about free
community college. that is why he is talking about the minimum wage. that's why he's talking about infrastructure investments. these are all things that help the middle class, college affordability. >> but if middle-class wages go up, nothing really changes as far as tax rates. >> i think it does help the middle class. rebecca, the woman he featured from minneapolis, in the state of the union, her mortgage payment is $1400 and the childcare payment for their children is $1900 a month. these are the kitchen table issues that middle-class families confront. >> for rebecca and others, though, how worried are you about headwinds from across the atlantic from the greek economy and the impact that could have here? >> we are certainly monitoring that carefully and the president and our economic team are monitoring that, but at the same time, we look at what is happening here, and we have been able to sustain this growth for some time.
59 consecutive months to the tune of 11.8 million jobs, and i think it is a real tribute to the president's stewardship and when he helped pass the recovery act, people said it was a terrible idea, but i think he was proven right. >> are you confident that the u.s. economy is now on firmer footing? >> i think we have a tailwind. when you look at the trends of the last 12 months in the last 59 months, you see that we are moving in the right direction, and we got to make sure that the results and prosperity for everyone. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. always a pleasure. >> we know children can adopt foreign accents very easily, but how about chimpanzees? nine chimps who were relocated i've years ago from holland have used a high-pitched noise to offer apples, and now they are using a low grunt, just as scottish chimps do.
>> meet louis. he lives in edinburgh zoo and likes to eat apples. his new dutch friend paul is also fond of them. this was the sound he used to make when asking for an apple. but after a few years with his scottish chimps family, paul has learned to ask for it their way. to human ears, the grunts may sound quite similar, but researchers say finding out chance can learn each other sounds is a breakthrough. >> we need a bit more research to find out if they could still understand one another before they started the matching calls. is this like me learning the french word for apple's i could communicate with a french person or is it like moving the glasgow and start speaking with an accent. >> the idea that dutch chimps started speaking with an accent certainly entertained visitors.
>> that is absolutely bizarre. it's hilarious. oh, my goodness. >> it's great to hear them as well. >> on just listening out for this. >> researchers suggest our ancestors' behavior is far more similar to our own than originally thought, and it helps explain what is special about human communication. the ability to talk to one another developed when the groups from different countries bonded, and it has come as no prize to the keepers that it all started over an apple. >> chimps do have a sweet tooth. they love fruits much more than vegetables. particularly apples, they really seem fond of them. >> is these guys are vegetarians, haggis is definitely off the menu.
>> the chimps bringing today show to a close, but you can find much more and all of today's news on our website. to reach me and all of our team just go to twitter. from all of us here at "bbc world news america," ask for watching. -- thanks for watching. >> makes sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the riemann foundation, -- freeman foundation newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good kovler foundation and mufg. >> is a global truth -- we can do more when we work together. at mufg, our banking
- coming up next on odd squad... - so cute... - close that box! - why? - it's a centigurp! that one little guy will become 100 little guys. we need all 100... there's still some more out there. - odd squad is made possible in part by... - ...a cooperative agreement with the u.s. department of education, the corporation for public broadcasting's ready to learn grant and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. - my name is agent olive. this is my partner, agent otto. this isn't anything - but back to otto and me. we work for an organization run by kids that investigates anything strange, weird and, especially, odd. our job is to put things right again. (theme music playing)
-rrr! -yeah! who do we work for? we work for odd squad. - the weird thing is, is i'm really happy! - not to worry, sir. we got this. - oh! thank you, odd squad! - have a good day, sir. let's go. - i'm slappy the sun, and i'll always be with you! - what? - ♪ slappy and derek, we're best friends ♪ ♪ slappy and derek friendship never ends ♪ - odd squad! i can't live like this! - hi, derek, i'm slappy! i'm your new best friend! hurray! - lovely. - i love you! - yeah, great! - ♪ slappy and derek ♪
- you wanted to see us, ms. o? - yes. something very odd has happened. a giant goldfish is attacking the harbour. olive, activate your suit for water travel. - on it, ms. o. - so that's what these things do! cool... - otto! - oh! yeah, ms. o. what have you got for me? - take this down to storage. - but that's not fair... - and whatever you do, don't open it. - (sighing): so unfair. stick the new guy with all the boring jobs. (warbling)